The Carolina Hurricanes have signed Alex Lintuniemi to a one-year, two-way contract that carries a $700K salary at the NHL level. Lintuniemi was not issued a qualifying offer by the Los Angeles Kings last month and became an unrestricted free agent. Soon after free agent frenzy opened CapFriendly reported that he would be joining the Carolina organization, though no official announcement had been released until today.
Lintuniemi, 23, played the last four seasons in the Kings organization after being selected in the second round in 2014. The former Ottawa 67’s defenseman had 25 points in 67 games last season for the Ontario Reign, but apparently wasn’t worth the qualifying offer for a team that is closing in quickly on the 50-contract limit. The Kings have 40 on the books already with seven more restricted free agents to sign, meaning they needed to make some tough decisions on who to keep around.
You can’t pick a much more familiar NHL organization if you’re a Finnish player like Lintuniemi. The club has a huge number of players from the country including Sebastian Aho, who suited up with Lintuniemi at the 2015 World Juniors. Hopefully that familiarity can lead to a brighter future for the young defenseman, who is still looking for his firs chance at the NHL level.